Despite the fact that MAPs suffer from numerous mental health issues, they seldom seek therapy (Cohen, Ndukwe, Yaseen, & Galynker, 2018). They feel that they will be misunderstood, judged as dangerous, and treated unethically (B4U-ACT, 2011b; Cacciatori, 2017; Levenson, Willis, & Vicencio, 2017). A survey from B4U-ACT (2011a) seems to confirm the basis for these fears, particularly for those in mandated treatment. Thus, lack of compassion in mental health services contributes to the stigma-related stress that keeps MAPs out of therapy even when they need or desire it (Jahnke, Smith, Geradt, & Hoyer, 2015).

Though professionals are increasingly employing methods like mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy (Walton & Duff, 2017; Bailey, Bernhard, & Hsu, 2016), some still consider conversion therapies a legitimate way of “curing” pedophiles of their attraction (Cohen & Galynker, 2009). Current treatment of MAPs has also largely emphasized
prevention of sexual activity with minors as the primary goal instead of the MAP’s mental health and well-being (Houtepen, Sijtsema, & Bogaerts, 2015; Jahnke, Philipp, & Hoyer, 2014; Beier et al., 2007; “Pessimism about pedophilia,” 2010). This approach often makes it
possible for professionals to distort therapeutic methods (e.g., the aforementioned CBT) in the name of preventing sexual activity with minors, which contributes to the lack of faith MAPs have about being treated with the dignity they deserve, and serves as an additional
deterrent to their seeking help.

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Cacciatori, H. (2017). The Lived Experiences of Men Attracted to Minors and Their Therapy-Seeking Behaviors (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Walden University, Minneapolis, MN.

Cohen, L.J., Ndukwe, N., Yaseen, Z., & Galynker, I. (2018). Comparison of Self-Identified Minor-Attracted Persons Who Have and Have Not Successfully Refrained From Sexual Activity With Children. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 44(3), 217-230.

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